Rookie Rankings: Tarasenko rises
St. Louis forward climbs rankings following return; Brodin also moves up
The end of the NHL regular season is less than a month away, and no doubt there will be a lot of posturing for playoff positioning between now and April 27. The final days of this season's truncated, 48-game schedule may have major implications regarding which 16 teams make the playoffs, and also may finalize who wins the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.
Montreal's Brendan Gallagher continues to impress with quality minutes and offensive production to go with a flair for the dramatic. And don't forget about Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads all rookies with 25 points, and St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko, who has four points in six games since returning from a head injury.
Here's a look at how things shape up this week (statistics are through March 31).
1. Brendan Gallagher, forward, Montreal Canadiens
Previous rank: No. 1
The Canadiens are one of the big stories of this season, as their impressive play has earned them a slot near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Gallagher continues to raise the bar in the race for the Calder Trophy as he finds ways to contribute to his team's winning ways. Last week, he was monumental in a win against the rival Boston Bruins, tying the game with seconds remaining and scoring in the shootout to nail down the extra point. He ranks third in rookie scoring with 11 goals (including three game-winners) and nine assists while posting a plus-8 in 30 games.